WEST PALM BEACH, FL--- TJ Schofield-Sam (Brampton, ON) and Elijha Hammill (Oakville, ON) both belted home runs while Antoine Jean (Montreal, QC) and Jack Seward (Port Moody, BC) turned in solid performances on the mound to lead the Junior National Team to a 7-5 win over a prospects squad from the Houston Astros’ organization.
Schofield-Sam’s homer, a two-run shot to left, came in the top of the first, while Hammill’s was a solo blast to centre to lead off the top of the seventh.
Starting pitcher Antoine Jean registered seven strikeouts over three innings of one-run ball while Jack Seward, who made his Junior National Team debut, gave up just one hit and one walk to go along with four strikeouts in three innings of work.
Offensively, the juniors had eight hits including doubles from Owen Diodati (Niagara Fall, ON), Noah Hull (Toronto, ON) and Ryan Leitch (Whitby, ON).
-After Schofield-Sam’s home run gave the juniors a 2-0 lead after one inning, the Astros replied with a run in the second coming on an RBI ground out with two out before Jean struck out his second batter of the inning to end the frame.
-With Connor O’Halloran on the mound in the fourth, a solo home run with one out tied the score before back-to-back doubles from Leitch and Diodati regained the lead for the Junior National Team in the third.
-O’Halloran fell victim to the long ball again in the fifth as a lead off homer tied the score before two runs in the home half of the sixth on an RBI single and an error put the Astros in front by two.
-Hammill’s homer in the seventh brought the juniors to within one before they exploded for three runs in the eighth coming on a Cesar Valero (Calgary, AB) RBI single before Ayden Makarus (Airdrie, AB) gave the squad the lead with a sac-fly to right field. Valero then scampered home from third base on a wild pitch with an insurance run.
-Seward fanned two batters in the eighth while catcher Raphaël Pelletier (Montréal, QC) gunned a would be base stealer down at second base to end the inning. A 1-2-3 frame from Seward in the ninth gave him the win.
The juniors will continue their extended spring training schedule tomorrow against the independent Fort Lauderdale Stars with the first pitch set for 12 PM ET…LHP Ben Adams (Ottawa, ON), RHP Eli Saul (North Vancouver, BC) and RHP Viktor Bergeron (Terrebonne, QC) are all expected to see action on the mound.